Action on Hearing Loss, formerly RNID, is the largest national charity supporting people with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase the risk of loneliness across all age groups. Without appropriate support, people with hearing loss may become isolated from friends, family and work colleagues.
Hearing aids reduce these risks, but people will often need support to get the most out of them. Action on Hearing Loss’ ‘Hear to Meet’ service gives people with hearing loss the opportunity to meet up for tea and coffee, share experiences and get information about how to use their hearing aids and local services that can help them. Befriending support is also available for people who find it difficult to travel and for people living in care homes.
People who use the service say they value the opportunity to speak with other people and share experiences, as this reduces feelings of loneliness and social isolation associated with hearing loss. 85% of people who attended a ‘Hear to Meet’ group said they felt happier because they could talk to people who understand their hearing loss. A service user says, “It’s an essential component to my lifestyle. It makes a huge difference to have this monthly social contact.”